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Quiz: Can You Find The Hidden Fats?

Quiz: Can You Find The Hidden Fats?

Lots of foods claim to be "light" or "low-fat." But if there were more truth in marketing, plenty of labels would say "A great source of fat" or "Now with more grease!" Until that day comes, dieters beware. Fat can lurk in unexpected places, from cereal and coffee to salads and soups. Are you getting ambushed by hidden fats? Take this short quiz to test your fat I.Q.

1. Which of these foods is often loaded with trans fats -- the most dangerous form of fat?

a. Ground beef

b. Whole-milk yogurt

c. French fries

d. All of the above

2. Which of these coffee drinks is very low in fat?

a. Regular Starbucks frappuccino

b. Coffee with half-and-half

c. Coffee with powdered non-dairy creamer

d. None of the above

3. Which of these breakfast foods is a good, low-fat choice?

a. Regular granola

b. Croissant

c. Regular cottage cheese with fruit

d. Whole wheat English muffin

4. Which of these soups is definitely NOT a "light" choice?

a. Nissin ramen noodles (packaged)

b. Campbell's Manhattan-style clam chowder (canned)

c. Campbell's chicken noodle soup (canned)

d. Campbell's beef noodle soup (canned)

5. Which of these pasta dishes could bust your fat budget?

a. Meat lasagna

b. Fettuccine Alfredo

c. Macaroni and cheese

d. All of the above

6. Which of these salad dressings has the least amount of fat?

a. Kraft Carb Well Ranch

b. Kraft Italian

c. Kraft Roka Blue Cheese

d. Kraft Thousand Island

Answers

1. Which of these foods is often loaded with trans fats -- the most dangerous form of fat?

The correct answer is: c. French fries

Trans fats can clog arteries even faster than saturated fats, and there is no level of consumption that is considered safe, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Trans fats are found in foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, including most french fries, doughnuts, and most store-bought crackers and cookies. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 7 percent of your daily calories in saturated fat, and of those, less than 1 percent in trans fat, if any. Since January 2006, all food nutrition labels have been required to list the amount of trans fat in the product, according to Food and Drug Administration regulations.

2. Which of these coffee drinks is very low in fat?

The correct answer is: d. None of the above

A regular 12-ounce frappuccino contains 2.5 grams of fat and 190 calories -- not exactly diet-destroying numbers, but a lot more than you might think; some coffee drinks contain much more. Non-dairy creamer may be an even bigger surprise. Each package contains almost 2 grams of fat, about as much as a tablespoon of half-and-half. In the cases of non-dairy creamer, some of the fats may be artery-clogging trans fats.

3. Which of these breakfast foods is a good, low-fat choice?

The correct answer is: d. Whole wheat English muffin

An English muffin has just one gram of fat. Top it with jam instead of butter for a satisfying, guilt-free breakfast treat. Don't be fooled by healthy-looking granola. A serving of Quaker 100% Natural Oats and Honey, which is about half a cup, contains 4 grams of saturated fat -- one-fourth your daily quota. One cup of cottage cheese, another seemingly healthy choice, contains 6 grams of saturated fat. Fortunately, both granola and cottage cheese also come in tasty low-fat versions.

4. Which of these soups is definitely NOT a "light" choice?

The correct answer is: a. Ramen noodles (packaged)

What could be wrong with a simple bowl of noodles? Six grams of saturated fat per package, that's what. (The label claims 3 grams per serving, but a full package of ramen -- which actually contains two servings -- is a more realistic serving size.) Use the whole flavor packet, and you'll also get fully half of your daily quota of sodium. The other soups, while also quite salty, are relatively skimpy on the fat. Each serving contains 1 gram of saturated fat or less.

5. Which of these pasta dishes could bust your fat budget?

The correct answer is: d. All of the above

A plate of pasta with Alfredo sauce contains about four or more half-cup servings and can pack an out-of-this-world 48 grams of saturated fat -- no wonder the Center for Science in the Public Interest urges diners to "make sure your cardiologist is on call before you order." Lasagna is a slightly better choice, but at 9 to 21 grams of saturated fat per serving it's not exactly light fare. When dining out or cooking pasta at home, you'd be better off with tomato-based sauces (such as marinara) or small amounts of olive oil.

6. Which of these salad dressings has the least amount of fat?

The correct answer is: d. Kraft Thousand Island

Even carb-conscious ranch has slightly more total fat per serving (11 grams) than does regular Thousand Island (10 grams). The moral: If you want to cut fat, you have to read labels. With a little sleuthing, you can find many salad dressings with little or no fat.

References

Center for Science in the Public Interest, Nutrition Action Health Letter

Restaurant Confidential, by Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, and Jayne G. Hurley, RD, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Workman Publishing.

The American Academy of Family Physicians. Information from your family doctor: Choosing healthy, low-fat foods.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Guidelines on overweight and obesity: Electronic Textbook. VI.A.1.b. Low-calorie, low-fat alternatives.

U. S. Department of Agriculture. News and Information. No trans fats in peanut butter -- contrary to current rumor. June 12, 2001.

U. S. Department of Agriculture. Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/dga/dga95/lowfat.html

Mayo Clinic. Coffee: How Many Calories In Your Cup? January 2006. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/calories/NU00185

Starbuck's. Starbuck's Beverages. http://www.starbucks.com/retail/nutrition_beverages.asp

Nemours Foundation. Figuring Out Fat and Calories. http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/fat_calories.html

American Heart Association. Know Your Fats. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=532

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